An Ornament from Old Keys


If you are like me, you have a handful of old keys that you just don’t want to toss.

Keys from your first car, your first apartment or even your first house!

Mine are all buried somewhere in the bottom of my jewelry box, probably tarnishing from age. I rarely see them, but when I do they bring me back to the old days! They hold good memories of the past that I would have otherwise forgotten had I not kept the keys as a small, simple reminder of those days.



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The holidays are a perfect time for reminiscing. I love pulling out all the ornaments to hang on our Christmas tree and telling stories of where there each came from, who made them, how old we were when we got it, etc. It is a great yearly tradition to keep all those great memories alive!

That is why I just love this key ornament idea! This is a simple ornament to make – just a key, a tag with the address or other note about the key and add a few charms or ribbons to decorate it. Using charms that tell about the key is a great option – for example, if it was a key to your ocean front beach house (I WISH!!!), attach a few shells that you collected when you lived there. Anything to help remind you of the times you had when there.

This is also a great idea for your college years. Many students have a key card to their dorm room…just punch a hole in it to add a nice hanger. For off-campus housing, be sure to get an extra copy of the house key made, if it is allowed.

What a brilliant, fun idea!


It’s Almost Halloween! Last Minute Crafts!

The scary, spooky Halloween is not really something I am in to. I prefer a more festive fall look to my Halloween decor.

Because I usually start decorating my home for the fall season about the beginning of October (…or even in September!), I tend to forget about Halloween. So a day or two before, I run around town grabbing last minute candy so the neighborhood kids don’t egg or TP my house! I also grab a few pumpkins to add to my already festive fall decorations. Every year, I swear I will get more into Halloween, with skulls and things, but I just get so excited decorating for fall…

Here are a few Halloween craft projects (for you procrastinators like me!) that will take you no time at all to create.


This tray is a quick project and could be a fun way to hand out your goodies to Trick or Treaters. If you want to make it last a little longer in your home, sub the skulls and crossbones for a pretty fall leaf or pumpkin paper. Keep it on your coffee table to serve snacks to company that comes your way.


This is the fastest last minute project and looks absolutely amazing! Not to mention extremely cost efficient – candy corn is so cheap! Fill a couple more vases next to this arrangement with a spoon so guests can help themselves to the tasty treats. If you are really in a time crunch and don’t have time to paint and glitter, just grab some natural twigs from the yard or craft store.



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Not only do I love the silhouettes, but the paper-backed hutch idea is amazing! What a great way to spruce up a dated piece of furniture! White plates are very cheap at big box stores, thrift stores and even the dollar store! Slap on a quick stencil, or cut out your own, and make a beautiful and festive display in no time! Add a coat of clear varnish or two to be sure they keep well in storage for next year.



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I have seen pumpkin topiaries before, but none like this! Drilling a few holes sure does make for a beautiful look with all the lights and leaves. I saw a 50% off coupon for Michaels in my email…I think I might run over there today to grab some crafting pumpkins to create this for my porch! This could stay up through Thanksgiving!

Hanging Notepad

Do you ever buy those notepads for your refrigerator?

The kind with the magnet on the back?

I always have such horrible luck with them. You pay a buck or two for each pad, then hang it on the fridge. But the upright position never agrees with the weight of the paper, so the flimsy cardboard back separates from the rest of the pad, leaving you with a pad of paper with No Magnet! Then you have a drawer full of pads of paper, none of which do their original duty – hang on the fridge. Life sucks sometimes!

So I found this tutorial on Etsy to make a hanging notepad that uses rolls of paper. You know, the kind you can by in the office supply section for fancy calculators or cash registers.

You can make this awesome contraption, then stick a ginormous magnet on the back to secure it to your fridge For Life! Or skip the magnet and just glue it right on the door!

I have also seen these made with a large picture frame hanger on the bottom – the kind with the jagged tooth. This acts as more of a blade, which seems like a stronger, longer lasting idea than the rubber band used in this tutorial from the Etsy blog.

I am getting started on this idea today – no more crappy magnetic paper pads for this girl!

A Bowl Made from Leaves!!

I am sure you have all seen DIY bowls or dishes made from paper mache, clay, etc.

But this super adorable leaf bowl takes things to a whole new level!


This is a perfect little dish to serve your Halloween candy from, to add as a coffee table accent, or maybe if you add a cloth you could serve your Thanksgiving dinner rolls in it!

Now I am starting to wonder what else I could make a bowl out of. Silk rose petals? The leftover fabric from my new homemade curtains to match? Old movie ticket stubs? My mind is spinning – I think everyone will be getting homemade bowls for Christmas this year! Haha.

What to do with an old, ugly knife block?

This is one of the cutest, coolest ideas I have seen in a while.

I know many people decide their knife block is just too darn ugly, so they toss it out and store their knifes in a drawer instead. But if you love to cook and want your knives handy and think your knife block needs some updating, this idea is worth while!

When I was shopping around to purchase my knife set years ago, I remember finding a really great deal on a very professional set. However, I opted for a lesser quality set ONLY because I really wanted a black knife block (versus the bamboo/pine/whatever that light wood is) to match my kitchen better. Had I seen this idea back then, I definitely would have sprung for that awesome set back then! I am so bummed now…

Ideas to consider: discount stores like Ross, Marshalls, Big Lots, etc. often have great deals on cheaper knife sets. If you know someone who just moved in to their first apartment or is headed off to college, this would make for a great gift! Personalize it with their initials, college logo or even their favorite super hero!

For instructions, visit austinstaynplay.

Fall is Coming!!

My family and I have always been easily excited by the fall season.

There is something about the changing color of the leaves, the darker days, the smell of a good fire with a cup of hot cocoa that really strikes a happy nerve. Maybe it was because growing up, my mom always made a big deal of the start of the school and fall season to excite us about a new year. I guess when you are a kid, the first day of school sort of feels like New Years. She always made it special by making warm cookies,  making leaf piles in the yard for us to play in and bringing out the fall decorations.

While for many families Labor Day weekend is the end of the summer, for ours it has always really been the beginning of fall. Though we are all grown now and still have our holiday weekend BBQ, my mother, sister and I tend to enjoy our tradition of preparing some new fall crafts while the men grill and chat about who knows what.

Our planned project for this weekend?


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This hazelnut wreath from I have stocked up on hazelnuts and also a selection of acorns. I think acorn caps would make for better flower than the almonds shown above – we’ll see what happens. For the wreath base, I purchased some pool noodles I found at the store on clearance in the summer aisles! I plan to cut them up and glue or wire them into wreaths.

Do you have any plans or family traditions for Labor Day weekend that include decorating or crafting? I would love to hear what all of you do for the long weekend! Enjoy yourselves, whatever you do!

Dried Flower Wall Hangings

Have you ever dried flowers?

I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. My dad made me a special flower press for my birthday one year and I went crazy attempting to press every kind of flower in site! I was young and clueless, making for several failed (MOLDY!!) attempts when I tried to press things like those purple ice plant flowers. Oh, childhood!

There are so many great ways to decorate your home with dried flowers. It is an amazing opportunity for you to show off your creative skills – you will get so many comments on your beautiful work! I love to press fern leaves, they look so natural and add a huge amount of bold detail to a room. I have a couple framed pieces next to our bookcases and I swear the ferns being next to books makes me look smarter. Haha.

Here are some great was to make and use pressed flowers in your home:


I love the old, rustic frame look. It really adds some dimension to these beautiful, simple flower arrangements.



This tutorial even shows you how to tea stain the paper to place behind the flowers. What a great idea!




This is the same idea as the ones in my own home that I mentioned above. Though I used brown acid-free packaging paper and a dark brown frame – the kind that has the grain, holes and natural wood look with a glossy finish.



A great idea for weddings. Would be extra special if you had pressed flowers that the groom had given you at some point!



Oh, wow! Queen Annes lace! I have never pressed it myself, but it is one of the most beautiful flowers out there. This is a very vintage, beautiful finished arrangement – be sure to check out the tutorial to see it!

DIY Tablecloths

When I was a little girl growing up, I remember my grandmother would  serve meals on beautiful handmade tablecloths.  During the holidays, we enjoyed hearing the family history and the stories of where these beautiful table laces and fabrics came from.

I feel like intricate, handmade items like those my grandma served meals on are truly a thing of the past. No longer do we have these cherished items as part of our everyday lives. Somewhere we have lost interest in creating heirlooms for our future generations.

With this idea in mind, I wanted to share some tutorials that will help you in creating tablecloths that will make you proud to show your family. Maybe the following tutorials will inspire you to create your very own tablecloth design that is worthy of passing down to the future generations of your family!


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Anthropologie inspired!




DIY Tea Towels

Tea towels, or kitchen towels, are a great statement piece to add to your kitchen.

They can be fun, vintage, bold or full of lace – they are a great way for you to show off your personality in the kitchen.

Today I wanted to share some great ideas and tutorials in order for you to make your own tea towels. Keep in mind that these work amazing as a fun, personalized addition to gift baskets for weddings or wedding showers. Personalize with quotes the happy new couple may say to each other or even monogrammed. Use colors that are consistent to what the bride has in her gift registry to make these towels match her future kitchen!


This amazing tutorial from Spoonflower shows you how to transfer am old family recipe into this beautiful towel. This would be a fun piece for your own kitchen, or if you are able to come across a recipe that is a couple generations old, imagine the smile on your mothers face if you were to give this to her as a Mothers Day or Birthday gift.

This tutorial from Shelterness shows you how to make these beautiful towels using fabric markers and stencils. I think it would be especially fun to make some towels that match your china pattern or other kitchen decor using this method.

A fun tutorial that uses home made rubber stamps. These bold and fun patterns are a sure way to add some color to any kitchen!

Think about adding some embellishments to your towels like lace, ruffles, buttons, charms or maybe even use glitter fabric paint to add some sparkle to your daily kitchen duties! I would love to see pictures of what you come up with!

Family Silhouettes

On a recent trip, I visited a friend of a cousin who had the greatest entryway I have ever seen. It wasn’t cluttered, but very much used – you could tell she entertained a lot and put the space to great use. Everything seemed to have its place, from the umbrella stand to the purse hooks to the shoe area. Something about this space just make me feel welcome in to her home.

Because I had never met her before, we were just stopping by a second while I visited my cousin, I felt it was rude to ask for a picture. But one thing that I remember most of all were the silhouettes of each family member, including the two family dogs, hanging above the entry way table. The two parents hung side by side on the top row, the three children underneath them in the second row, then the two dogs side by side on the bottom row. It was literally a picture perfect, happy family.

Upon searching for something similar in taste, I came across this setup below that I wanted to share with you as I was not able to snap a quick image the day of my trip.

I love how the parents in this one use the oval frames to add a bit more detail and care to this wall.

Not sure how to make a silhouette of your family members? Check out the image source below for a great tutorial by


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Whatever you do, don’t forget the family pets!